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Do you ever feel like a fake?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I had forgotten about a business dinner I have tomorrow night with a vendor we use. I personally don't use them but the rest of the company does so it will be awkward none the less for me. They had not told us the restaurant until this afternoon and it is this shishi French place on Beacon Hill. I like that kind of food but rarely will spend the money on it personally so it will be a nice experience but I am feeling insecure about the whole night. Yes, I will go over calories and no this is not the kind of establishment that posts nutritional information lol. I am at peace with that. Life can not be lived in a bubble and sometimes we will go over calories.
What makes me insecure is sometimes I feel like I am playing grown up. Do you ever look around you and feel like "whose life is this?". I have friends who tell me they look at their own kids and feel that way sometimes. Like who are these little people? There are times I sit in a business meeting and want to laugh because this is the life I always wanted and you know what? I kinda hate it. I wanted to wake up and wear a suit and go off to my big important job. I thought that made me somebody. That made me important.
I had a job tomorrow for 450 people and it was all my responsibility. Do you know how scary that is and I am good at this. You can make a mistake and screw up something for 450 people. It is intimidating. Luckily I have a good team and we all play to our own strengths and watch each others backs. The client called today and CANCELLED THE PARTY. Yup, you know how you just said "Are you f-ing kidding me?" That was the reaction every single person at work had. They actually postponed it to next week but when you get the adrenaline going that gets you through an event like this it is hard to come down before you planned for it to happen. I have felt really off all day.
There are times on SP I feel like a fake too. I am who I say I am but when people email me and tell me I inspire them I just don't feel inspirational. I don't feel like I have done anything special and I will admit I am angry with myself for needing to lose this kind of weight. How could I get so huge? I have lost almost 95 lbs and I am still fat???? How does that HAPPEN?! People look at me and I am still considered huge and I am on the verge of losing 100 lbs. I guess when I hit the hundred lost mark I will feel like I have accomplished something because that has been a big goal of mine since day one. I will have 60 more to lose.
Please don't see this as a cry for attention or that I want to have my ego stroked. It isn't about that at all. It is about getting out what I am feeling and it isn't always positive. Acknowledging all feelings, good and bad, it a big part of this. It is how we work through them that matters. I have improved my self esteem tremendously since I started and that is not in any way fake. I do like myself now. I do believe I can do anything now. When I started I was faking it but now, it is a habit and it feels good.
Wish me luck tomorrow night because I have to get all dolled up and use my big girl manners. I actually am rather refined but I get a kick out of not being that way all the time. It bores me. Truthfully Kate Middleton can be queen. Her life seems rather stuffy and pretentious compared to all the things that are possible for my future.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Happy Wednesay... emoticon

    I have a different perspective on this one....I never feel like a fake..I've always been a down-to-earth girl, and i think i've always been an authentic person, never feeling the need be "showy"..I usually don't get along with most women for this reason..I don't get into the business of trying to outdo someone or show them up, or point out their faults...and at my job, i've realized in order to make it in management, you have to be a BIG SMOOZER and be unrealistic about expectations...Now, this is just my opinion in what i've observed in my life...

    I feel like being a hard-working, authentic girl also tends to be intimidating to other people, and it's taken me a lot of time and ALOT OF realize how people are..My mind doesn't work that way, and now that i've really, really been burned a few times, it's opened my eyes on people's behavior..

    So, this past 1.5 years, i've pulled back from ALOT of people, got out of a mentally abusive releationship, and have taken the "high" road, and realizeing I"m BETTER than what's been offered to me. emoticon

    I WILL NOT let myself be "played" anymore by men for Love and affection and it leads to this: emoticon

    I will not continously try to be understanding with people and their broken plans/friendships..if they want me, they know where to find me emoticon

    I WILL NOT let myself be intimated by people anymore...alot of people will sense your insecurities and use that against you emoticon

    This past year i've learned to not settle...I told my therapist taking the "high" road is DEFINATLEY a more difficult, lonely road at times..and she said that's why a lot of people don't travel it..but i find I sleep better at night and am a happier person now..

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3204 days ago
  • GOIN4GR8
    I also feel like a fake all the time, at work. I work in software, with a bunch of "kids" who are 15-20 years younger than me, and things change so fast in software that it's not funny. They're better than I at picking up new things just by reading about them. I always feel like I have to work longer and harder just to keep up.

    This feeling is so common it's known as "the impostor phenomenon".

    It's been great to hear here how many of us feel the same way. Someone here said we just feel that way because we're more familiar with our own shortcomings--that's a great insight.

    I always appreciate your honesty. Lets me know I'm not alone.
    3207 days ago
    Yeah, I feel like a fake all the time. I don't feel like a "real" adult, an inspiring sparks member (how did I ever become a motivational member? me?). I actually posted about it once, and found out a lot of people feel that way. More, we are still inspiring, still successful--we aren't fakes, it just sometimes feels like it because we're all too aware of our own weaknesses and insecurities. But the fact that we are still going, still working, still doing stuff--that's the important thing. Not the insecurities, the fears etc.
    3213 days ago
  • ERIN4771
    dude...i turn 40 next week and am waiting for the grown up to enter the room!! i think when we are growing up, we have these expectations that things will just click into place, and "voila" we are a grown up...doesn't happen that way, truly disappointing i must say, but hey, you navigate through life the best you can, enjoy what you have and surround yourself with the ones you love...that's what's important...i have to agree, kate can be queen...that involves too mush dressing up and weird hats for my taste emoticon
    keep on rockin my friend!!!
    3214 days ago
  • CYD1057
    Your ability to stick to this weight loss thing and see it through is an inspiration. Your honesty is an inspiration. I agree with Lisa2021 - your words help many of us not feel alone because you articulate our own experiences. I think we all feel fake at times. I know I am uncomfortable when I find myself feeling fake, but it seems to be a sort of survival mode when it happens. I hate to admit it, maybe there is some truth to that old saying of "Fake it 'til you make it!"
    3214 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 11:14:33 AM
  • CSERF09
    I have been lurking on your sparkpage all week waiting to see what happens with your job. You are right you have to come to terms with all of the emotional issues that caused you to gain the weight. You also have to forgive yourself and go on to the next step. Just you putting yourself out there for everyone to read about what is happening to you and how you handle it is inspirational. You never know when something you say will spark something in one of your readers. I know I have read a few things here on SP this week that yes technically I knew, but hearing it in the particular way this person said it just clicked with me at that time.

    Just keeping going day by day. I hope you had a good dinner. Now I'm off to read about your review.
    3215 days ago
    Hope you had a great time! I've lost 110 lbs and I have to say it feels like I'm in someone else's body. For someone to say, "you're a size 10 jeans or that shirts too big just get the medium tshirt" -- I'm sorry but that is just ABSURD! I've been heavy my entire life and now I don't know what to do with this body. I keep asking DH - 'who's body is this?! but then again, I'm not giving it back!' I know what you're saying.....Keep on going - you're doing great! emoticon
    3216 days ago
    Ash, you are TOTALLY real! Nothing fake about you, my dear! Glad that your big dinner tonight went well!
    3216 days ago
    Yep - I definitely feel like a flake sometimes too...I think we all do, if we are honest with ourselves.

    Hang in there and just know that perhaps the event getting postponed is actually the best thing that could have happened! :-)
    3217 days ago
    I am heading for 60 and it's only recently that I feel authentic! So it looks like you are not alone in this.
    3217 days ago
    I get you...I feel like a fake all the time...I think we both need to learn that we are who we are and it's just perfect that way.
    3217 days ago
    Great blog. I totally feel like a fake in terms of being an adult. I often wonder about how did I get to where I am paying rent, bills, married, working? I do not feel grown up at all and I will be 27 this year. Maybe it will never really hit me/us? *shrug* Glad I am not the only one who feels like a fake :-)

    As for posting negative feelings, that is what Sparkpeople & blogs are for. I love your honesty.
    3217 days ago
    you rock.
    3217 days ago
  • LISA2021
    I love your blogs and look forward to them. The biggest reason I find you inspirational is simply because you are open with your battle and I can relate to your challenges and feel I am not alone. Good luck with dinner and enjoy your sophisticated evening! I look forward to hearing all about it tomorrow! take care. Lisa emoticon
    3217 days ago
    You are inspirational, don't question it at all. As long as you inspire one person, that's all that matters, and the wieght loss that you have done so far definately inspires me! emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • TISHA80
    I really love to read your blog, because you are always so honest. I have also wondered how I let myself get this fat, but we can't do anything about the past. We can only change the future. You have been doing a great job! The weight you have lost is a big accomplishment and you really are an inspiration to me. Never downplay your accomplishments just because you think you shouldn't have been in that situation to begin with. You have to be a strong person to change your life like you have. Getting healthy is hard work. You can do it!

    Good luck on your dinner!
    3217 days ago
    This happens to me a lot too!
    3217 days ago
    Great blog expressing something I think most (all?) of us can identify with. I get scared sometimes at the responsibility and reality of my life. Yet ... here we are doing it, living it.

    I hope the dinner exceeds expectations.
    3217 days ago
    Ashley, I am 50 and i still feel like i am playing at being grown up! honestly, i feel like a kid in an old-lady suit!
    3217 days ago
    DEFINITELY feel fake...most of the time! Lol! I keep wondering when I'm going to 'grow up' and be one of the 'big girls'...and I'm almost 40! :o Good luck tomorrow and hope you enjoy your dinner. :)
    3217 days ago
    Enjoyed your blog tonight - and how real it is. Enjoy the dinner tomorrow and playing dress up. :)
    3217 days ago
    The business equation is this:

    INSPIRATION = being real = ASHLEY emoticon

    Have a fantastic time at client dinner! Enjoy every minute!!


    3217 days ago
    Enjoy dressing up!!! Wear some smoking hot pumps and the new clothes you rock now!
    I know what you mean about letting yourself get to your starting weight loss point. When I was 165 I smugly thought, oh not me, I will not gain tons of weight with this pregnancy! I am fit, so I would never! Um yeah, 50 pounds later!!! Then 11 months later at 185 I said no way I will not gain! Maybe 20 and that's it...Uh yeah 35 pounds later! It's hard to be at the point realizing that you had control and you didnt take it! I learned the hard way!!
    I am doing better and so are you!!! Yay to us for finally taking CONTROL!! emoticon emoticon
    3217 days ago
    OMG, I SO know what you mean! You know how they say "fake it 'til you make it"? Well, I've been "faking" it for over 30 years now, and I STILL haven't made it! I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm going to be 50 in less than 2 months! Yes, FIFTY!! I've learned how to handle being with groups of people, but no one knows how much it still terrifies me. They don't know that it's a challenge for me to just leave the house each day, or that the house pulls me like a magnet to return even if I've just been out doing the grocery shopping. There are times when I feel like my 16-y.o. son has it more together than I do!

    But, like you said, faking it gets to be a habit, and even can start to feel good. The more you face down your fears and put yourself out there, the easier it gets, and the stronger YOU get.

    So, yeah, I sometimes feel like a fake. But I also know that the love I feel for others, the desire I have to do good in this world, the pride I feel for my husband and sons, the pride I feel for mySELF for having overcome my fears and persevered through all the many obstacles placed before me...all that is absolutely, 100% real!

    Thanks for reminding me of that.
    emoticon emoticon
    3217 days ago
    Good luck at the dinner! It sounds yummy and fun. I wrote a blog today and was thinking the same thing, not about my life necessarily but about my did I get here? Neither DH or I were lazy people, we were both very active when we moved in together. So what happened? It's hard to pinpoint for me..and it's something I want to reflect on and figure out so that I can prevent it from happening in the future. Was it an emotional time? Was it that we were bored? What was going on? I am not one to dwell on the past and we know what we need to do to be healthy but we still have to take necessary steps to stay healthy, and for me one of those things is figuring out what happened to prevent it from the future..
    Good luck, you really are an inspiration!
    3218 days ago
    I know exactly how you feel. I look at my kids and husband sometimes and I'm like "Is this really MY life?", "Is this what I'm supposed to be doing ?"

    I guess all we can do is keep our heads up, eyes forward, and focus on where we want to be and hope that the rest of it all falls into place.


    3218 days ago
    I like you. And yes, sometimes I look around and wonder how I got here and when the hell did I become a grownup? Its pretty hilarious. Then I wonder, Does the president think this? Does he think, "Holy Crap how did I get in the White House?" I bet he does.

    And I think the best role models are the ones who are surprised about it. You've inspired me because it never dawned on me to post about being shocked and disappointed in myself for gaining so much weight. That's freaking taboo to talk about, but here you've put it out there and made it inspiring and funny and touching. Wonderful stuff. Don't look but you are remarkable! Thanks for that.

    3218 days ago
  • DEBBIE19580
    emoticon to ashley, for being you!!!! emoticon
    3218 days ago
    Have a wonderful dinner. I'm very jealous. And I also feel awkward when vendors/supplier take me out for lunch. In my case it is usually because they just don't want to eat alone, but I still feel bad when I hardly know them & don't buy from them. Just go AND have a great time.

    I totally don't get grown ups. I have a hard time taking anything really serious, especially work. It cracks me up when the higher-ups at my company get all in a panic about the stupidest things, when life is so not about that. Just like your self esteem building exercise of "fake it till you make it". I've been working on being less serious and more relaxed about life. And it has worked. There are still some subjects that I freak out over. Mostly having to do with holding myself to WAY higher standards than anyone else in my life. But... hey... one more thing to work on.

    And I always feel like I'm not fooling anyone when I dress up real fancy. Who's clothes are these anyway....?
    3218 days ago
    Now I suddenly have that Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime" stuck in my head.

    You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
    And you may find yourself in another part of the world
    And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
    You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
    You may ask yourself, "Well, how did I get here?"

    (If you don't know what song I'm talking about, I'm going to feel really old...)
    3218 days ago
    You are a silly, silly girl. Just kidding. You are one of the most real people I've "seen" on here. No fluff, just honesty. And you ARE doing a great job, and you ARE an inspiration to me. A lot of us are where you started, and we want to get where you got. Don't sell yourself short. You are awesome!
    3218 days ago
    Just by admitting that you feel like a fake sometimes makes you an inspiration.

    Good luck at the dinner!
    3218 days ago
    All the best!
    3218 days ago
    Ashley, your thoughtful candor is as refreshing as it is inspiring! Let me be among the many here who've congratulated you :) I suspect many of us deeply admire you, too, for your authenticity. As the bumper sticker I see now and then suggests, "Question reality." Is it reality-show reality or something that resonates with you - Ashley? I've always been my own person, too, and do not regret any of my against-the-iconoclastic-tide decisions. I suspect you won't, either. The struggle inherent in this situation can only ultimately strengthen both you and your sense of self.
    3218 days ago
  • KERSTIN814
    You will have a riot. Don't worry about the calories, just check out the delish food.
    3218 days ago
  • ROCKMAN6797
    Another insightful blog Ashley.
    Thank you for sharing and good luck tomorrow night!
    3218 days ago
    Good luck!!
    3218 days ago
  • ALOFA0509
    I can see how soo many find you inspiring. The weight loss of course, but you are so very REAL. Your victories and struggls are soo relateable. I'll read something from you and I'm always nodding my head, and thinking Mmmm.Hmmm you got that right sista!!! That's what makes you soo unique, you have a way of eloquently putting what many of us are thinking and feeling in these passionate blogs.. I think your just Super-Dooper!!!

    emoticon emoticon Hugs,Alofa
    3218 days ago
  • BLYNN710
    I completely understand and relate with what you are saying on all fronts. I understand what you mean about feeling like a fake. The point is that you are making the changes for you and you are making progress. Where I understand the struggle with sometimes being told you are an inspiration when you still have a ways to go (okay I haven't had that problem of being told I inspire people but I digress) the point is that people see you as an inspiration because of the attitude you put forth. You keep going forward when things get tough and you have come so far. You acknowledge you still have further to travel on this journey but you stick with it despite when things get hard.

    You are doing great. Keep up the good work and have fun tomorrow.
    3218 days ago
    "...sometimes I feel like I am playing grown up. Do you ever look around you and feel like "whose life is this?".

    All the time! I feel like a kid in an adult's world with responsibilities and big important things to do.

    Somedays I would much rather be a kid.
    3218 days ago
  • ERIKA05
    Ashley... You're going to hate this, but I found this post really *inspiring.* I am completely serious. I find you to be such an inspiration, but I know that you're also a person, just like me. One who sometimes stumbles. Who makes mistakes. Who gets overwhelmed and, absolutely, who sometimes feels like they're faking it. I think everyone feels this to a certain degree at different times... For me it just sneaks up, like when I'm walking out of my office towards my car and I think 'What grown-up drives this? It has 4 doors!' or when I have to give a big presentation at work and think 'Why are all these people listening to me? I'm, like, five years old!'

    Occasional moments of doubt don't gobble up hours and hours of purpose and certainty. They don't have time. They're here, and then they're gone, and you're you again. The girl who worked hard to get here, to have the career with the power suit and the important clients (and hopefully even better opportunities to come), to lose almost 100 pounds and keep right on going. That's you, girl. For real.
    3218 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/30/2011 5:38:55 PM
    Girl, I've felt like that almost every day for the past 10 years. First with my job, now with my kids. I feel like I'm living someone else's life that I'm not 100% qualified for or deserving of. But the show must go on, ya know?

    Hang in there! Good luck tomorrow night! You will be fine! Sometimes, I find that a night out not watching calories actually benefits me more in the long run. If you don't splurge every once in a while, pretty soon you lose all sense of fun and enjoyment :)

    3218 days ago
    What a great blog. I think you have crystallized what a lot of Spark-folks are feeling. I suppose it is easy to get stuck on "how did I get this way" and not take enough credit for what you have accomplished... the almost 100 pounds lost. I know you are not trying to get attention... it is obvious in your blog that you are intelligent and sensitive as well... and your question is valid and meaningful... and hopefully one that doesn't linger through the day in a discouraging way. I often wonder where the best motivation comes from. I know, folks look at my page and see I want to lose 30 pounds or so and therefore, I'm not the same as they are... but I'm very short and planning to be realistically smaller, not tiny like I was in my youth (106 pounds). I also wonder how I didn't "notice" how my body was changing... yes, I have a disease that contributes, but I still didn't "notice" what I should have... and yet, it doesn't help (motivate me) to chide myself. I have noticed now and I'm working to deal with it... but it is very difficult. What do I do? I look at pages like yours with amazing accomplishments and feel possibilities flowing again... that is the gift you give. I hope you can allow yourself the feeling of deserving the warm feelings you have earned so far. This weight loss/self-esteem stuff is so complex. We are bummed to be overweight, we are bummed to lose so slowly, and, on many pages, we are bummed and lost when we lose the weight because the goal has been met and it is not the be-all end-all we expected it to be... we graduate, in a way, and need to figure out "What's next"... well, I for one enjoyed your honesty, your expression of valid frustration with the cancellation of the event, your wise exploration of what it means to be grown-up yet not feeling so.... and generally felt that you communicated well with a lot of kindred spirits with this blog. I'm glad I happened upon it.

    P.S. someone I know.... who has a very dangerous, responsible job... does amazing things in dangerous places... and says he still has that unreal feeling of being too young or a fraud inside... and, in those moments when he thinks about what he actually does, wonders how the heck he does what he does and why they let him... even though he is superior at what he does...

    and somehow I think it must relate to believing :

    If I'm the one doing this, and I am doing well at it, then anyone probably could do it because I'm not ready to take pride in it because I haven't learned to feel good about things that I do because it just me doing it and I feel this way because..... (this is the part of the narrative I'm not sure how to finish... in regards to myself I mean)

    but I'm glad you broached the conversation. I'm going to give this some thought, thanks to you.

    Good luck with your event and your dinner. Perhaps unnecessary self-consciousness is one of the culprits... not sure... best of luck!
    3218 days ago
    I can definitely relate! People tell me I am inspirational but I don't feel inspirational. Maybe we don't have to be inspired by ourselves... It is still an awesome feeling to inspire others even through I don't feel like I did anything huge besides focusing on one pound at a time! emoticon
    3218 days ago
    I remember once working on an emergency research project relating to a very large transaction. It was when I was a 2nd year lawyer. Basically they asked me to figure out, overnight, whether they could close their multi-billion dollar deal. I did the research and wrote a memo that proposed an answer. The deal closed. I felt great. And then my mentor sent me a copy of my memo with a little note in the margin saying "Isn't it wonderful to know that billion dollar decisions are being made solely on the basis of your advice?" Yikes. Um. No. Now that you put it that way. I definitely had a big "I'm a fake" moment there.

    By the way, I could tell that my mentor (a very nice guy) wasn't being mean - he was just making a couple of points (1) way to go, but 2) also keep in mind that people are relying on you) in a funny way.
    3218 days ago
    A very insightful blog, my friend. Often, I find myself thinking, "how did I get here and really, am I the one in charge around here?!"

    It's life. If we are living it right, we should be surprised by it all the time. Sounds to me like you are doing it right!

    3218 days ago
    I know what you mean about asking is this really my life. I do it frequently. It's good to step back once and a while.
    3218 days ago
    That sucks about the cancellation! But you know what, you do what you do and you're great at it. And yes, regardless of anything else I do think that you're a great inspiration! Almost 100 pounds?! Hell yea, girlfriend, you are definitely inspiring!

    About your "whose life is this" moment, oh yeah, I've been there. Quite often. Usually when I'm looking at my kids and realizing how big they're getting. Sometimes I feel like I'm just stepping in until the real mom comes back.

    So, recap:

    3218 days ago
    The best wishes for tomorrow for you.

    I am glad that you have mentally come to a new point and outlook.
    3218 days ago
    Well you cannot control what clients will do, or foresee all problems that arrise at work.

    Its knowing that when you have the chance you do your job well and to the fullest extent and that is what makes you successful.

    I've had the moments where I catch myself and ask "Whoa, is this me? Is this my life? And if its somewhere you want to be then yes - embrace it! If not, jump ship and get the heck off the ride!

    I think you should go enjoy yourself at dinner and know that when this event does happen you will rock it as you do everything else! As for reaching the 100lb goal - it will happen. You are an inspriation to many, and to me. Keep being who you are!
    3218 days ago
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